Kyle Walker goes off script as Man City star joins Lionel Messi club and Liverpool narrative ruined

Manchester City were excellent on Thursday night to beat Brighton 4-0 in the Premier League.

The damage was done in the first half as Phil Foden scored with a swooping header before Julian Alvarez saw a free-kick deflect in and ruthlessly punished some helpless Brighton defending in their own box. Pep Guardiola could afford to be all smiles as he watched his team pull apart their opponents and send a message to Arsenal and the rest of the Premier League, with Guardiola's ruthless call after Foden goal kills Klopp's dream for good netting a fourth late on.

City are next in Kevin De Bruyne, when they will hope to move one step closer to retaining the Premier League. Here are some of the talking points from Thursday's win.

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Walker goes off script

Guardiola has been very clear that City can't afford to get ahead of themselves. He allowed himself a little smile in his press conference on Wednesday when asked if he could see the end in sight, but the message has consistently been one game at a time; that was repeated minutes before kick-off when he said on Sky that getting ahead of themselves would be costly.

Fast-forward to the players on the pitch though and the Sky cameras picked up the City team huddle, where captain Kyle Walker told the players that they needed performances in each of the six games coming up. Guardiola may not be going public with the expectations for the run-in but the players are taking in the bigger picture.

City ruin the title race narrative

There have been some inevitable quirks in the swings involved in the title race. A few weeks ago Liverpool slipped up against perennial thorn in their side Crystal Palace hours before Unai Emery led Aston Villa to victory at his former club Arsenal.

With Liverpool losing themselves at Goodison Park on Wednesday, the stage was set for former United and Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck or former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana to write the script on Thursday but a ruthless City side did not let them.

Foden joins Messi club

Two goals for Foden took him to 24 for the season in all competitions, 16 in the league, and 50 in the league for his career. Gareth Southgate was watching on inside the stadium and surely can't leave him out of the England team for the Euros.

Foden cannot be left out of another exclusive club either, becoming just the third player to be aged 23 or under and score 50 league goals for a Guardiola team. The other two? Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland - not bad company.

Clichy confidence for City

Gael Clichy has proud history with both Arsenal and City and the Frenchman admitted that he was in a win-win situation as two of his former clubs look to be head-to-head in the final stages of the league. Without being asked to pick a favourite, Clichy stuck his neck on the line and went for City.

"Liverpool are not done yet but the blow yesterday, we will be focusing on City and Arsenal," he said before kick-off. "Two great teams in form and I'll be happy either way. City are still the favourite, with two games in hand and the way they finish the season usually makes them strong favourites. "

By the time full-time came, Clichy's point was even more difficult to argue with.